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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Was the Washington Post lying or embellishing?

So the Washington Post unveiled another "headline" about "highly classified information being shared" that was not actually backed up by the underlying story. Or at least it was not backed up by anything evidence of anything that anyone can agree on.

Sharing intelligence with Russia is fine if you are Obama
But it's a national crisis if you are Trump

The story was given a quick rebuke by the White House, as well as the National Security Adviser and the Secretary of State (both who were at the meeting). According to the non-anonymous sources who we actually know were in the meeting, nothing of substance was discussed that could be declared to be "highly classified".

After reading some of those I consider to be the rare adults in the field of political reporting, and by parsing everyone's statement to find what actually exists "between the lines" from all sides... it starts to become clear that the "highly classified" information was more of a "generic" discussion about the fact that intelligence has been gathered on a possible threat.


The Washington posts uses language suggesting that such generic discussions on their own constitutes a grave offense (it doesn't) then provides in remarkable amounts of bluster that everything else was dwarfed by the fact that the President revealed the name of the city where the intelligence originated.

The fact that the President revealed the City is being seen (by critics) as an opportunity for the Russians to avoid the source, or to go find the source and mess with our national security. Short of the city actually being a village with a population of thirteen, it seems more than a little far fetched to me that the Russians can find our source (if they even wanted to).

But I guess anything can be seen as possible.

That being said, was it prudent for the President to offer the name of the city where the threat was detected? Perhaps not. But I would argue at this point that the "political dangers" of dealing with another negative news cycle probably outweigh the "real" potential for any actual national security harm (if any such potential actually even exists).

All in all... it seems that once you cut through the embellishment of the situation by the Post and take the statements by the officials who attended the meeting, it becomes clear that both sides appear to agree on the events, just not the description or seriousness of them.

As far as scandals go, in the scandal a week atmosphere we live in today... I'd say this one was little more than a change of subject. (Didn't you used to be James Comey?)  Perhaps if every little thing wasn't reported as if was the end of the world, then it might be easier to know exactly what we should and should not take seriously.

39 comments:

james said...

ROGER:
Trump says that he can tell anyone what I want.

Again he undermined his staff. The spocksman said that he didn't release
anything.

JAMES:
He and his staff cannot stay in synch.

He is a lose canon on the deck and the deck is our country and the world.

Downward spiral continues...continues...continues...continues...
con...
___________________

Trump Admits Revealing Classified Information

“President Trump appeared to acknowledge Tuesday that he revealed highly classified information to Russia — a stunning confirmation of a Washington Post story and a move that contradicted his own White House team after it scrambled to deny the report,” the Washington Post reports.

"Trump’s tweets tried to explain away the news, which emerged late Monday, that he had shared sensitive, ‘code-word’ information with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during a White House meeting last week, a disclosure that intelligence officials warned could jeopardize a crucial intelligence source on the Islamic State.”

opie said...

Not the first dumbass thing trump has done....chatty cathy's potential disclosure puts the US at risk that no one will share anything with us. Pretty sure that is not a good idea if your allies don't trust you will blab to the world. How many more allies you willing to give up to support the idiot in chief????? Rat supports him, you support him, could this be the point where sycophants start jumping off the ship? Bi partisan criticism of the move seems to have taken a new direction.

james said...

STEP ONE: Soon after the meeting, members of the Trump team quickly gave intelligence sources a "heads up" that the President had irresponsibly revealed sensitive intelligence information that could compromise a source.

STEP TWO: The Trump team denies that anything important was revealed.

STEP THREE: Trump indignantly states that he as president has the "absolute" right to reveal any damn thing he wants to.

wphamilton said...

Between the location of the intelligence origin and whatever specific details of the threat that Trump blabbed, it becomes possible for the Russians (and ISIS when it gets to them) to deduce the likely source. If even only the Russians know, we won't be getting more from those quarters.

He made it harder to gather intelligence about the terrorist plots of our greatest enemy. He put American interests - and the rest of us - in greater danger and for what? To impress the Russians during his ill-conceived meet and greet. How much of this nonsense are you willing to put up with? More to the point politically, how long do you expect the rest of us to put up with it?

james said...

The Last 7 Days

Playbook: “Trump fired the FBI director, surprising most of his communications staff and bucking some senior aides. He mused aloud about surreptitiously taping his conversations in the White House, alarming official Washington. Republicans have quickly turned against the president, saying he needs to fork over the recordings or else. The White House, inexplicably, has no answer. He then met with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador, where we now hear he at least mentioned highly classified information.”

Downward, downward, down...

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

james said...

“Their credibility is completely shattered. They’ve engaged in serial lying to the American people on issues big and small –beginning with the crowd size photos. It’s unprecedented for an administration, from the top on down, to embrace a strategy of deception and lying. Even people who have built up reputations for integrity over a lifetime of public service, they risk squandering it in this administration.”
— GOP strategist Steve Schmidt, quoted by Politico, on the Trump White House.

james said...

8:36 am.
Ditto.

Loretta Russo said...

"He made it harder to gather intelligence about the terrorist plots of our greatest enemy."

Not according to McMaster, the professional in this.

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

Loretta Russo said...

"Perhaps if every little thing wasn't reported as if was the end of the world, then it might be easier to know exactly what we should and should not take seriously."

Hillary supporters aren't going to let it go.

It's going to be a long eight years.

james said...

8:36 am.
Ditto.

:-)

james said...

“Their credibility is completely shattered. They’ve engaged in serial lying to the American people on issues big and small... Even people who have built up reputations for integrity over a lifetime of public service, they risk squandering it in this --Steve Schmidt, Republican consultant and former campaign manager for John McCain.

james said...

in this administration.

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

C.H. Truth said...

WP... I am not predisposed to believe anything written in the Washington Post or Politico based on anonymous sources. Too many times they have been just flat out wrong.

The other day, I read a story that claimed the President was "privately contemplating" shaking up his inner circle? How can anyone know what the President is "privately contemplating" short of being a mind reader? But people run with this shit without thinking.

It sounds to me, WP... based on what is being said on both sides that the President didn't do anything remotely illegal and likely didn't do anything even slightly unethical. What he did was talk about a threat in fairly general terms... and I promise you that if Obama had been in a similar conversation that nobody would have thought anything about it.

You may or may not trust Trump, but the fact that McMaster and others in the room who deny that anything "highly classified' was revealed should be heeded.

Perhaps you take a different stance, but I trust what McMaster has to say about the meeting, long before I will trust a Washington Post reporter citing an anonymous source.

Loretta Russo said...

We must have missed in the tweets where President Trump said he leaked highly classified material, eh.

Roger Amick said...

No. The "President" said that he can tell anyone he wants. McMaster got run over when he said that the President had not shared intelligence with the Russian foreign minister and the other guy."I was in the room".

Nice attempt to distort the Trumpism. One of these days,

Roger Amick said...

wp, you will never get him to admit that Trump did something wrong. Not ever.

Loretta Russo said...

LOL. Rich I tell ya, Roger.

Roger Amick said...

President Trump appeared to acknowledge Tuesday that he revealed highly classified information to Russia — a stunning confirmation of a Washington Post story and a move that contradicted his own White House team after it scrambled to deny the report.

Trump's tweets tried to explain away the news, which emerged late Monday, that he had shared sensitive, “code-word” information with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during a White House meeting last week, a disclosure that intelligence officials warned could jeopardize a crucial intelligence source on the Islamic State.



Trump described his talks with the Russians as “an openly scheduled” meeting at the White House. In fact, the gathering was closed to all U.S. media, although a photographer for the Russian state-owned news agency was allowed into the Oval Office, prompting national security concerns.

Trump confirmed the Washington Post bombshell from yesterday afternoon. And left McMaster swinging in the wind.

opie said...

. I am not predisposed to believe anything written in the Washington Post or Politico based on anonymous sources.

Like loretta, you are predisposed to your own bias of trump does nothing wrong. Like GW, which is fact based, you think the earth has no problems with humans altering the composition of the atmosphere and that trump is looking at the countries best interests. Laughable.

opie said...

From the reliably conservative David Brooks. At least he has some intellectual honesty, unlike the esteemed host of this trash blog......

At certain times Donald Trump has seemed like a budding authoritarian, a corrupt Nixon, a rabble-rousing populist or a big business corporatist.

But as Trump has settled into his White House role, he has given a series of long interviews, and when you study the transcripts it becomes clear that fundamentally he is none of these things.

At base, Trump is an infantalist. There are three tasks that most mature adults have sort of figured out by the time they hit 25. Trump has mastered none of them. Immaturity is becoming the dominant note of his presidency, lack of self-control his leitmotif.

First, most adults have learned to sit still. But mentally, Trump is still a 7-year-old boy who is bouncing around the classroom. Trump’s answers in these interviews are not very long — 200 words at the high end — but he will typically flit through four or five topics before ending up with how unfair the press is to him.



Trump Revealed Highly Classified Intelligence to Russia, in Break With Ally, Officials Say MAY 15, 2017

David Brooks
Politics, culture and the social sciences.

His inability to focus his attention makes it hard for him to learn and master facts. He is ill informed about his own policies and tramples his own talking points. It makes it hard to control his mouth. On an impulse, he will promise a tax reform when his staff has done little of the actual work.

Second, most people of drinking age have achieved some accurate sense of themselves, some internal criteria to measure their own merits and demerits. But Trump seems to need perpetual outside approval to stabilize his sense of self, so he is perpetually desperate for approval, telling heroic fabulist tales about himself.

Loretta Russo said...

Don't worry cupcakes, McMaster will be on tv shortly to explain this to you.

Roger Amick said...

The Washington Post, the New York Times, and Time magazine all confirmed the story the story.

You are using the same methodology of the WaterGate to deny the story, because the source was anonymous. We call him deepthoat. The threat to have recording is like WaterGate.

Loretta Russo said...

Wholly appropriate.

Loretta Russo said...

It's the leaks stupid.

Time for the President to clean house.

C.H. Truth said...

Roger - Who do you suppose was the anonymous source who revealed what Donald Trump was "privately contemplating"? A mind reader? At a certain point, it becomes painfully obvious that some people will believe literally anything they were told.


As far as confirmation... everyone can confirm the following:

There was a meeting with Russian diplomats.
General threats were discussed.
There was nothing illegal done.

Outside of that... the disagreement comes from the description of those events.

General McMaster is a highly respected man. The sort of person everyone believes is above politics, above partisanship, and above Party. If he states openly, as someone who was there, that the information provided to the Russians was not inappropriate or in any manner damaging... then I am predisposed to believe him.

The media can report whatever they want... and provide their sources as "former officials" (who were obviously not there) and other anonymous sources (who may or may not have been there and may or may not even exist)... and describe the events however they want.

At the end of the day, the takeaway from this is that no laws were broken, nothing unethical was done... but rather there is a disagreement about specifics and whether or not the meeting was "wise" or "unwise".

When you compare a perfectly legal meeting, described as appropriate by everyone who was there... to Watergate. How do you expect anyone to take you seriously?

cowardly king obama said...


This is turning into a GREAT WEEK !!!!

thanks for all the FAKE HYSTERIA and EXPLODING HEADS !!!

what's next


ROFLMFAO !!!

KD, Hi oDopie said...

Hillary supporters aren't going to let it go.

It's going to be a long eight years. "

For them it is going to be pure Hell on earth. Wait until Nov 2020, when they are reading that President Trump was Re-Elected.

For things people really pay attention to, US Housing had more starts then at this same time last year.

Manufacturing, aka President Trumps Winning on Made in America, boomed. Those are the better paying jobs with benefits.

Ms. USA Rocks, she is smart, pretty and logical. One has to have a job to have health care, such a clear statement by her, it has sent the left into greater depression.

"DEMstream media" if they are reporting it , it is normally wrong.

Loretta Russo said...

"This is turning into a GREAT WEEK !!!!

thanks for all the FAKE HYSTERIA and EXPLODING HEADS !!!"

LOL.

KD, Health Insurance is not a Right said...

The "President" said that he can tell anyone he wants"

That is true, he is the decider when it comes to US Secrets.


Everyday we have to spend a part of it Educating the Three Liberals Stooges on the US Economy, US Military, US Law Enforcement, US Constitution and on and on.............

KD, US Economy heating up said...

From the reliably conservative David Brooks" Odopie


LOL, you are joking right?

IF not you just dropped below Jane the boy lover in level of dumbass.

KD, Winning Yugely for my kids said...

Over 4 years ago I started buying this stock, it has been very good for my kids college funds.

"Home Depot earnings, sales top Street estimates as shoppers flock to its stores




Here's what the company reported vs. what the Street was expecting:
•Earnings per share: $1.67 vs. forecast of $1.62, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.
•Revenue: $23.89 billion vs. estimate of $23.74 billion, Thomson Reuters said.
•Same-store sales: 5.5 percent growth globally vs. forecast of 4 percent growth, according to FactSet estimates."

C.H. Truth said...

From the reliably conservative David Brooks

by the same logic...

You should also read what the very reliable Liberal Newt Gingrich has to say about this.

wphamilton said...

"It sounds to me, WP... based on what is being said on both sides that the President didn't do anything remotely illegal and likely didn't do anything even slightly unethical. "

I didn't say it was illegal - I gave it as only the latest example of Trump screwing up often enough and badly enough that the mid-term calculus will change.

The Administration's best excuse - so far - is that Trump was ignorant of the source of the information and the fact that it was highly classified. Acting from that level of ignorance is just as stupid for a President speaking to Russians in the White House as it is for a Secretary of State circulating emails.

Trump being ignorant of the nature and sensitivity of the information doesn't cut it for me. Just how low of a bar do you intend to set for this President's behavior?

C.H. Truth said...

WP...

I guess I didn't take McMaster's statement the same way you did. (or are you just reading liberal rags and taking their assessment?)

The way I took his statement about the President not being briefed on the source or method of the information.... was push back against the reports that he shared "sensitive information" and "put our sources in danger".

If he didn't know the source... how could he have put that source in danger?

Your argument seems to want to have it both ways. He didn't know the source, yet revealed information about the source that was a danger? Not getting how that is possible.

Bottom Line: McMaster remained steadfast in his assertion that nothing inappropriate was discussed at the meeting.


But riddle me this WP... President's share information on mutual security threats all the time, including Barack Obama who shared intelligence regarding Syria with Russia. Which on the surface would be much stupider than sharing information on ISIS - as we now know that Putin and Al-Assad were working together.

I don't recall anyone getting their undies in a bunch over Obama sharing information about Syria to one of Syrians allies?

Seriously WP... wouldn't that "objectively" be much dumber than sharing information on ISIS attacks with another country that has recently been attacked by ISIS?

Give me a logical explanation why Obama can share sensitive security information regarding Syria with Russia... But Trump cannot share what turns out wasn't even sensitive information about ISIS to Russia?

Explain it?

James said...

Just how low of a bar do you intend to set for this President's behavior?

Ch's bar just keeps getting lower. :-)

wphamilton said...

"Your argument seems to want to have it both ways. He didn't know the source, yet revealed information about the source that was a danger? Not getting how that is possible."

Ignorance would make it easy. Since he doesn't understand how certain details are signposts to the source - for intelligence analysts smarter that he is, for example, he'd just spout off whatever details crossed his mind.

A President needs to know the details and significance of matters dealing with national security, even more so when spouting off to our adversaries. It was butt-stupid, stop making excuses.